Netball captain wanted gold so much
Casey Kopua didn’t wear her silver medal for very long after the Commonwealth Games, her mum Joanne Williams said, because ‘‘it was not gold.’’
The Silver Fern captain was disappointed she couldn’t lead her team to a third straight gold medal at the Games.
‘‘I said to her ‘ think of everyone who had to walk away with nothing’,’’ Williams said.
Being at the Games made Williams realise how much pressure Kopua was under.
‘‘It hit you how the whole nation was depending on your daughter to walk away with gold.’’
This was especially true during the tight game against England.
‘‘When it got to an even score I nearly left the stadium.’’
Williams receiving tickets had helped her daughter.
‘‘It was great to support her. We told her where we would be in the stand and she found us and gave us a little wave. I think it was reassuring for her to know her mum was in the stands.’’ Kopua’s husband, Terry, managed to get away from his Hamilton law firm and attend the last pool game, the semi-final and final.
Before the games, Williams would distract her daughter by talking about the family and how many cows her husband, Murray, had calved on their Matamata farm.
Afterwards she would discuss the game with her a bit, she said.
‘‘We go over and say ‘why didn’t they do such and such’ but she is very protective of the players and won’t let anyone bad mouth them which is a good thing, she sticks up for them.’’
Both Williams and Kopua recognise that for a netball team to do well everyone must fire at the same time.
‘‘If she plays well then that’s number one, but as it’s a team sport not everyone will play well at the same time.’’
During the pool games, Williams was seated close to the action but during the final she was seated so far back that she couldn’t get emotionally involved and cheer on the team.
‘‘It was like being seated in the top seats of the Vector Arena.
‘‘Being at the top seats you could not yell so it felt surreal.’’
Williams and Kopua’s husband commiserated with the disappointed team at the New Zealand house after the final, which New Zealand lost 58-40.
‘‘If they win I am there to celebrate with them, if they lose I am there to support them,’’ Williams said.
Kopua and Terry managed to fit in sight-seeing in England and a holiday in Thailand after the Games before the netballer was back to train for five games against Australia and two against England prior to the Fast Fives tournament.
PROUD MUM: Joanne Williams with the Commonwealth Games mascot Clyde the thistle and her daughter Casey Kopua’s silver medal.